HomeblogsMike McClelland – Prepping for Florida A Hefty Organization Project I’m in Florida now for the start of the Elite Series season, and I’m glad it’s here. My 2011 Bassmaster Classic didn’t go as I’d hoped it would; not making the top 25 cut is certainly something I would have guessed, but I can take away one positive thought. It took Kevin VanDam until his 11th trip to the event to win his first, so I still can catch him; this was my eighth trip. I have to thank Mercury and their service crews. They had the foresight to station a service crew in Venice, 100 miles from the takeoff, and I had to use them. I hit something hard and tore up my lower unit to the point where the prop shaft was bent, and I wouldn’t have been able to make it too much farther or back for that matter. They got me fixed up and back on my way quickly. Those guys are real professionals, and for Mercury to have a crew down there is testament to Mercury’s commitment to their team members and the sport as a whole. After the Classic, I went home and started getting the gear together for the rest of the year, and it was a major undertaking. The first thing I did was to get my maps organized. Over the years I have gathered quite a collection of lake maps from my tournament fishing all over the country, and I put them all in a big box that I had to sort through every time I wanted to study. Stacy and I remedied that by organizing my maps into regions, or states where I had more maps. We took a two and half gallon Hefty One Zip bag and organized an entire region into it. I took all of my maps from Alabama and put them into the two and a half gallon bag, then placed all of them into one 11-gallon bag for easy storage and access. I did the same thing with my soft plastics. I put my Zoom Plastics; in their original bags, into gallon size Hefty One Zip storage bags by color. Then I put the gallon size bags into the two and a half gallon size by bait type. Then, once I pack my Toyota Tundra for a trip to tournaments, I put those bait types into the 11-gallon size to keep them all organized. I do the same thing with my raingear; my Mustang Survival PFD’s and even my spools of Sunline FX2 braid and Fluorocarbon. The Hefty Sportsman Series has really helped me organize my life on the road. I spent as much time with the family as I could before I had to leave. My youngest son had baseball tryouts, so we spent a little time at the batting cages getting tuned up. Other than that, I’m ready for Florida, and I’m trying to figure out the best program for the week. I was fortunate to be able to win last time we were at the Harris Chain; we’ll see what I can do this week. For more on Mike McClelland, visit www.mikemcclellandfishing.com.